US Reporter

TikTok Under Inquiry From House Republicans

TikTok, a popular website for sharing content, receives another round of criticisms and questions, this time from House Republicans.

They claim that TikTok purposefully misled Congress over how the business handled the data of its US-based customers. The complainants expanded on the points already brought up by US legislators in a letter to TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew.

The letter also emphasized the threats to US national security that TikTok poses. Due to their majority in the House of Representatives, experts predict that Republicans will support efforts to criticize TikTok.

“Both claims appear to be misleading at best, and at worst, false,” said Comer and McMorris Rodgers.

“Americans deserve answers about how TikTok knowingly allows China to access their data. And E&C Republicans will continue to demand those answers,” said Sean Kelly, the spokesperson for Rodgers.

“One immediate next step is to pass the American Data Privacy and Protection Act this Congress. This would require companies like TikTok to alert users if their personal information is being stored or accessed in countries like China. And give people the option to stop sharing that information,” Kelly added.

US authorities are growing concerned about how TikTok may utilize the user data from US users for their gain. Senator Mark Warner, a Democrat from Virginia, claimed that TikTok presents an “enormous threat” since it can access data and affect the material that US consumers see.

“That is a distribution model that would make RT, Sputnik. Or some Russian propaganda models pale in comparison,” Warner said.

Read Also: Amazon will Prolong Employee Dismissal Until 2023

TikTok denying the allegations again

Management of TikTok continually denied the accusations made against them. They also stated that ByteDance, its Chinese-owned parent firm, does not have US data access as it remains held in the US, adding that the business will “satisfy any national security concerns.” Vanessa Pappas, the chief operating officer of TikTok, came before the Senate and responded to the queries posed by the authorities.

“Will TikTok commit to cutting off all data and data flows to China, China-based TikTok employees, ByteDance employees, or any other party in China that might have the capability to access information on US users?” asked Senator Rob Portman.

“Again, we take this incredibly seriously in terms of upholding trust with US citizens and ensuring the safety of US user data,” Pappas said.

“As it relates to access and controls, we will be going above and beyond in leading initiative efforts with our partner, Oracle. And also to the satisfaction of the US government through our work with [the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States], which we hope to share more information on,” she added.

Read Also: FBI Probes TikTok for Possible ‘National Security Concerns’

Cut the data from China

Despite criticism, Pappas assured the Senate panel that the company would stop “all data and metadata flows to China’. She also insisted that Chinese authorities do not affect US users’ content algorithms. Pappas stated that she would not “give that data to China,” even though Chinese staff has access to the data. She also disputed the existence of a “Master Admin” who can access all US user data.

“Those allegations were not found. There was talk [in the article] of a master account, which does not exist at our company,” she said.

Photo Credit: Alex Brandon

Source: CNN

Opinions expressed by US Reporter contributors are their own.



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